‘CLIMATE OF FEAR’

UN Accuses Burundi of Crimes Against Humanity

Investigators for the United Nations have accused Burundi’s government of committing crimes against humanity and called for a case to be opened at the Hague “as soon as possible.” The United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Burundi on Monday described a “climate of fear,” with “the highest level of the state” involved in crimes including executions, torture, and sexual violence against civilians. Fatsah Ouguergouz, the head of the commission, said Burundi had made it “state policy” to carry out a “general or systematic attack against the civilian population.” The commission, which relied on testimony from 500 witnesses and survivors, said it would share a list of suspected perpetrators with any credible judicial body. Willy Nyamitwe, a spokesman for President Pierre Nkurunziza, dismissed the allegations as part of a Western plot to “enslave African states” and described UN investigators as “mercenaries,” according to Agence France-Presse.